If you’re hoping to start a career in the railway industry, the very first step you’ll need to take is to complete a PTS (Personal Track Safety) training course. The certification you’ll receive on completing the course will open the door to future opportunities working on – or by – railway tracks, and – for reasons of safety – Network Rail will not hire employees, or work with contractors, who do not hold that certification.
So what’s involved in PTS training, and how else can it help you to get your career started?
What Do I Need Before My PTS Training?
Before you’re able to attend a PTS training session, you’ll first need to undergo a medical test and a drug test to ensure that you are suited to working on or near railways. You’ll also need a sponsor. This is usually a qualified representative of a company for whom you’re planning to work. You can’t apply for PTS training independently, so make sure you’ve found a sponsor before you think about applying.
What is PTS Training For?
The main purpose of PTS training is to ensure that you have a full and strong understanding of their responsibilities as an employee deployed to work on or near railway tracks, as well as the health and safety implications of the job.
By the end of the course, candidates will be able to show their ability to correctly interpret the Personal Track Safety Handbook and relevant instructions when required to go on or near the railway line. They will also confidently demonstrate an understanding and ability to follow a Safe System of Work.
The course can cover AC (overhead wire) and DCCR (third rail), and is best suited to people who are looking to work trackside (e.g. in train stations, platforms or down the banks of the track).
How Long Does PTS Training Take?
Basic PTS training has a duration of one day. However, you may wish to undertake further training if you are working towards a specialist job, such as work as an individual working alone (IWA) or direct engagement with the tracks themselves (for which you’ll need a Track Induction Course or TIC).
When Will I Receive My Qualification?
The PTS qualification will be added to your Sentinel card within 48hrs of completion of the course.
Will There Be Others Taking the Course?
You may be required to attend your PTS course with up to 12 other individuals.
Where Can I Go From Here?
Once you’ve completed your PTS course, there are a number of further qualifications you can take. These can help you achieve a promotion to a position in which you’ll undertake Lookout or Site Warden duties, or work as a Points Operator, Hand Signalman or Controller of Site Safety. You can also train to work with overhead lines and small plant tools.
For further information about PTS training, get in touch with RealSkills today using our handy contact form or call our friendly team on 0151 257 6969.